Many products are available on the market today that are intended for use in and around pools and spas that can help increase the comfort and safety of families. While many claim to be certified to national standards (i.e. ASTM F2208, NSF 50, ASME A112.19.8), what do all of these designations really mean?
- Pool and barrier alarms were developed to help alert you if an unauthorized person attempts to enter the area surrounding your pool or spa. These devices should be tested and certified to the most recent version of ASTM F2208 (2008) and NSF/ANSI Standard 50 (2009) to confirm product sensitivity, accuracy, and consistency. The four major types of pool/barrier alarms are above ground, floating, submerged, and wristband alarms.
- Fence-type barriers used around residential outdoor swimming pools, spas and hot tubs should meet local building code requirements or the latest version of ASTM F1908. This standard establishes minimum requirements related to the height and installation of various types of fences, including a minimum height of 48" isolation fence along with a self-closing, self-latching gate with a latch release mechanism mounted on the inside (pool side) of the gate.
- Drain, suction fittings and grates should be designed to meet the newly revised ASME A112.19.8 (2007 or latest version) standard for preventing body, fingers, limbs, and hair from becoming trapped. If a drain cover is missing or broken, shut down the pool, spa, or hot tub until the cover is replaced. Don't allow anyone to ever play with or remove a ain cover from your pool or spa.
- Pool or Spa Safety Covers-If you use a pool or spa safety cover, ensure you use a cover that is tested, audited, and certified to by an accredited and reputable company such as NSF International to the requirements of NSF Standard 50 and ASTM F1346, ASTM F1346 is the performance standard used to evaluate pool and spa safety covers.
- Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS) should be tested and certified to either ASTM F2387 or ASME A112.19.17 depending upon local building or public health requirements. These products are being installed on public pools and will sense when a drain is being blocked and will help release vacuum or shut down the whole circulation system.
- To ensure the greatest performance and highest level of safety, ensure your spa or hot tub has been tested and Certified to NSF Protocol P-181. NSF P-181 contains comprehensive evaluation criteria to address important aspects of filtration, circulation, disinfection, slip/fall hazards, and other critical performance issues.
- NSF/ANSI Standard 50 establishes minimum design, construction, material and performance requirements for a wide array of products used to treat pool and spa water, including filters, pumps, chlorinators, ultraviolet disinfection systems. A list of NSF certified pool and spa system components is available online.